Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Taking Advantage of God's Forgiving Nature, Alarmed about Using God's Name in Vain!!!, Putting Faith Off Until the Last Minute Posts-

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke, Chapter 12, verses 22-32.
This is one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible.  It has personal significance to me because of my experience with it.  Years ago, I was on a very tight budget.  It was so tight that I had to buy powdered milk in case I didn’t have enough money to have milk for my children’s breakfast.  Now, I know our situation wasn’t as bad as some, but I just want you to know that things were tight and I had to be very careful about my spending.  Now, one of my biggest vices, as I’ve shared, is the need to be in control of my life.
Since things were so tight, I would spend hours making a budget or revising it every time there appeared to be a need.  I lived my life by this budget and tried very hard to not deviate from it.  I spent most of my waking hours trying to plan, scheme and figure out ways to get by through the month.  Then one day, God had me read this particular passage and it totally turned my life and my relationship with God around!
I found out that God didn’t want me spending the vast majority of my time fretting over bills and figuring out ways to make ends meet.  When I was doing that, I was showing that I didn’t trust God to provide for my family’s needs.  I was also wasting a lot of time planning when I could have spent that time reading the Bible, praying or spending time with my family.
It was like I was saying, “God, you know I love you and I think you’re wonderful, but I just don’t think you are going to take good enough care of my family.  I’m going to devise a plan to take care of them, just in case you fail us.”  Well, that isn’t the message I want to be giving God.
I can’t say I don’t ever get caught up in worrying about finances anymore, but quite often God will put the thought of this passage in my mind which helps me refocus.  I need to trust God to take care of my family’s needs and I need to be an example of how God works in my life.
This is a disclaimer of sorts.  This doesn’t mean a person should go out and spend their family’s money on gambling, alcohol, Bingo, possessions, etc. and God will make sure that all their needs are met.  I don’t think He wants us to ever take advantage of Him.
It would be like telling an unemployed relative that he could stay with you for a month or two while he gets back on his feet.  While your relative goes out to look for work every day you tell him, “Don’t worry about cleaning up your room.  I have a little extra time and I’ll take care of it.”  This is a genuine offer and you don’t mind cleaning up the minor things the relative leaves around.
Then the relative starts taking advantage of the fact that he has someone taking care of him.  The relative starts leaving all his clothes on the floor.  He leaves his dirty towels lying around instead of putting them in the hamper.  He leaves his dirty dishes lying on the table.  It’s bad enough that you have to take his dirty dishes to the sink and wash them, but they are hard, crusty and difficult to wash.
To top this all off, the relative is getting used to having someone pay all the bills, cook the meals and clean up after him.  Having a job, getting up early and going to work is looking less and less attractive to him.
Your relative isn’t getting up early in the morning anymore to look for work.  In fact, he seems to be staying in bed later and later every day.  You bring the paper to your relative with some potential jobs circled and find that he has tossed it on the floor with the rest of his dirty clothes, making no attempt to look for work or even call any of the ads you carefully circled.
You aren’t empowering your relative by helping him become the best he can be.  Instead, you realize that you are enabling him and making him dependent on you.  Finally, you recognize that enough is enough and you tell your relative that you aren’t going to be doing things for him anymore.  You notify him that he has to be responsible for himself and if he doesn’t get a job in a certain amount of time or at least make a decent effort; he will be out on his ear.
Well, don’t you think that if we could feel this way, maybe God would get a little upset if we took advantage of Him?  I don’t think He would like it if we spent our money carelessly so that we didn’t have enough for our bills, but relied on Him to pick up all the pieces and work everything out.  So, although I’m saying God will take care of our every need (and He really does, even better than I ever did when I was budgeting so tightly), we still need to be responsible about our finances and choices by not taking advantage of God’s forgiving nature.

Surely Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God; depart from me therefore, ye bloody men, For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy Name in vain.  Psalm, Chapter 139, verses 19-20.
It doesn’t sound to me that God takes it lightly when people curse Him or use His Name inappropriately.  That’s why I am very concerned about people casually using “God” and “Jesus” in their everyday speech.  I don’t think people realize how strongly God feels about it.
All the passages that say we aren’t to profane God’s Name or to use His Name in vain really made me stop and think.  It has become very common these days for people to say “God” or “Jesus,” without really any thought.  You hear people say things like, “God that was a great game!”  “Jesus Christ! I ran out of bread again!”  “Oh, good God, get off your high horse and give me a hand around here.”  
Of course, I can’t mention all the possible ways I’ve heard people use God’s Name inappropriately.  The point of great concern is that these people really aren’t focusing on God when they say these things.  They aren’t praying or genuinely telling other people about God or glorifying Him either.  God states very clearly throughout the Bible that we aren’t supposed to use His Name in vain.
Reading many passages about this in the Bible has caused me to become alarmed about this issue.  I don’t think people realize how often they’re saying “God” or “Jesus,” in their everyday language.  It’s on TV and it’s in the movies.  Almost everyone seems to be doing it, even the little kids and people we respect.  Some people who are doing this consider themselves to be good Christians.  I don’t think these people even know they are using God’s Name in vain or that they are being a poor example of their faith in Jesus.
I realize that some people may not like hearing this.  Most of us like thinking we are pretty good people.  This may hurt our self-perception of the type of Christian we think we are.  I’m hoping that we will get beyond this and become much more aware of the words we choose to use.
Using God’s Name in vain has become just casual slang, like, “Shucks” used to be when I was a kid.  I hope one of the things that you get out of this book is a deeper awareness of this issue.  Listen to people talk.  What if each and every person who used God’s Name in vain as slang was to lose their Salvation?  That would be a pitiful thing. 
Maybe that’s what my job is.  Maybe I’m supposed to make people aware that they are doing this.  Maybe I’m supposed to draw their attention to the possible repercussions of using God’s Name in vain.  I have no idea.  I just know I felt led to write this book and God will take care of the rest!
Fortunately, God is very merciful and will forgive us if we ask Him to, provided we make the necessary changes to only use His Name in ways that glorify Him. Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages. 

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 6-9.

If a person stole from stores and then said to God, “I’m sorry I am not the Christian You want me to be; please forgive me,” but neglected to try to change anything, God would be patient with him up to a point.  This passage makes me think that there comes a time when God says that He’s given enough chances for the person to change their actions and if they haven’t, then He cuts His losses.
Fortunately for us, God is very forgiving.  If that person finally turns his life around to be the Christian that God wants; all will be forgiven.  God doesn’t want us to put off our faith until the last minute. Click to read additional related Bible passages on this topic.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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